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Getting Divorced? How to Break the News to the Kids

— April 28, 2022

On instinct, parents try to shield their children from hurt feelings and any sort of suffering and heartbreak. However, you can’t shield them from your divorce.

When couples choose to get divorced, there is a lot of paperwork to fill out and meetings to attend. If there are kids involved, a custody arrangement must be made as well. But in those early days, how do parents tell their children about the divorce plans? After all, divorce is a big deal and transforms the dynamic of a family. It’s common knowledge that children do well in a stable, safe environment, so one of the most important things parents can do is ensure the transition is as comfortable and safe for the children as possible

If you’re new to divorce or are wondering how to break the news to your children that you and their other parent plan to divorce, contact one of the family law attorneys in Georgia. Not only do family law attorneys specialize in child custody and divorce matters, but they are a great resource for guidance to help you tell your children you’re getting a divorce. Below are a few helpful tips to keep in mind.

Don’t Put it Off

On instinct, parents try to shield their children from hurt feelings and any sort of suffering and heartbreak. However, you can’t shield them from your divorce. The last thing you want is for them to find out from a family member and feel betrayed or blindsided. Be upfront with the children. Explain what the divorce process will look like and involve so they can prepare. If possible, consider delivering the news with your soon-to-be-ex as a united front. If you have multiple children, tell them all at the same time and let them know they can ask questions any time. If you and your ex are not on civil terms, consider getting help from a family counselor to help the family through the process.

Don’t Get Hung up on the Details

While it’s important to tell your children about the divorce in a timely manner, you don’t have to delve deep into the reasons for the split. It’s a mature topic and most parents don’t want to put their children in the middle of their marital tension. Instead, keep things simple. Explain things in a way that children can understand. Most importantly, avoid blaming each other in front of the children because doing so could be used against you when it comes to working out a custody agreement and visitation rights.

Assure the Children They are NOT the Reason for the Divorce

Sad child
Sad child; image courtesy of PublicDomainPictures via Pixabay,

When faced with something like divorce, children tend to blame themselves. Whether it’s poor grades at school, bickering with siblings, or a host of other issues, children may worry that their misbehavior caused the split. Make sure to explain that the divorce is between you and their other parent.

Keep the Line of Communication Open and Welcome Questions

When parents go through a divorce, life may feel a bit uncertain and unstable for children. Let them know they’re allowed to ask questions whenever they want. Be open about what they can expect of the process and assure them that even as things change, you still love them and you’re still a family. Be honest and if you don’t know an answer to a question, be upfront and say you’re still sorting things out, too.

No family should ever feel like they’re alone during a divorce. Whether you’re in Atlanta, Savannah, South Fulton, or anywhere else in Georgia, family law attorneys are standing by to help.

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